Date: February 1, 2006
Dr. Sara Bly — Ethnographer

In recent years, studies of human computer interaction have expanded from usability labs to homes and offices. Often called “ethnographic research”, these studies look at the everyday, in situ activities and behaviors of people in order to provide insights for the design and evaluation of technologies.

This talk will focus on issues involved in going into people’s homes and offices (i.e. the “field”) with examples from studies conducted in the past few years. E.g., How could we study reading in bed? Will digital pictures be around forever? Does anyone other than your grandmother “clip” from newspapers and magazines? The presentation will encourage interaction and discussion.

About the speaker
Dr. Sara Bly has been an active researcher and practitioner in qualitative user studies for more than 20 years. She was involved in Media Space research at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center before becoming an independent consultant. Sara has worked closely with designers, social scientists and engineers to develop methods for using ethnographic methods for informing the design of technology. She has been active in ACM SIGCHI since its inception, recently receiving the Lifetime Service Award.